DUP doing democracy only on unionist terms - Finucane
Sinn Féin MP John Finucane has told a meeting of the British Irish Parliamentary Assembly today that DUP leader Jeffrey Donaldson’s ‘difficulties’ about sharing power are heard by nationalism as Unionism doing democracy on only unionism’s terms. And the north Belfast MP will make it clear that Sinn Féin will not be renegotiating the Good Friday Agreement.
John Finucane said:
“It was ambitious to form a five-party coalition Executive in 2020, but it was achieved, getting us back to genuine power-sharing, and thankfully so, because while everyone knew there would be challenges ahead, no one could have predicted that in only a matter of weeks that our Executive would be dealing with a global pandemic that would have such devastating impacts on every part of society, community and people’s lives and livelihoods.
“It is to the credit of all ministers from across the five parties that they responded and have worked with a unity of purpose, and unity of leadership for the past two years.
“This is what the public want to see more of – co-operation and delivery.
“To jeopardise and destabilise the political system of Government, act unlawfully as Ministers in Office and abandon the health service without a three-year budget in place in protest at the Protocol, amounts to serious political negligence by the DUP.
“This reckless act will block plans to tackle waiting lists, recruit more doctors and nurses, fund cancer and mental health services and transform health.
“Jeffrey Donaldson has warned it will be “difficult” for his party to re-enter the political institutions after the May 5th election if the issues around the protocol are not resolved, this is heard by those of us within nationalism as Unionism doing democracy on only unionism’s terms.
“We hear day and daily….
“No nationalist First Minister
“No nationalist Justice Minister
“No language rights
“No abortion rights
“No, No, No….!
“The facts are that the balance of power at Stormont has shifted irreversibly.
“We see this weekly when the DUP are the outlier as they attempt to vote down progressive legislation in the Assembly, but which the public rejoice in seeing changes which impact their lives.
“Those who hanker for the past, who disrupt the present and who threaten our future need to realise that there is no going back, only forward.
“Sinn Féin will not be re-negotiating the Good Friday Agreement or shifting any goalposts to satisfy unionism before or after elections.
“This is now about those of us who want to work together to make the Assembly, Executive and All-Ireland institutions work, to deliver on health, housing, education and jobs, to deliver social change and economic prosperity – taking advantage of our dual market access within the British and EU single market.”